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Wind Power News: December 2008

These news and opinion items are gathered by National Wind Watch to help keep readers informed about developments related to industrial wind energy. They are the products of the organizations or individuals noted and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of National Wind Watch.

December 29, 2008 • WyomingPrint storyE-mail story

When lightning strikes wind turbines

With snow, ice and frigid weather, winter creates complications for renewable energy, as I wrote last week. But for Ralph Brokaw, a Wyoming rancher with both cows and wind turbines on his land, the worst hazard is not the ice that his blades can throw off in the winter. Rather, it is lightning strikes on the towers, which usually occur in summer when there are more storms. The effect is spectacular – and scary. “It will explode those blades, and they’ll . . . Complete story »

December 20, 2008 • AustraliaPrint storyE-mail story

Chill winds of financial woe halt two-turbine plan

In Denmark, where wind energy is king, hundreds of small communities own a boutique wind farm just outside their town. The turbines, in twos and threes, pump enough energy into the grid to power all their homes and more on a windy day. In Victoria, just one such project has been proposed for a site 10 kilometres outside Daylesford, in the state’s spa country. The Hepburn Community Wind Park was meant to show what one community can achieve, and to . . . Complete story »

December 20, 2008 • West VirginiaPrint storyE-mail story

PSC decision a mistake

The recent OK of the West Virginia PSC was and is a big mistake on the wind turbine project on the Laurel Mountain ridgeline. With all that is on the plate of the PSC, when do they have time to study each project that is before them? Why was it so easy to put the Pendleton County project on hold, but give the green light to this one? A few facts: According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, 52 percent . . . Complete story »

December 20, 2008 • New Mexico, OpinionsPrint storyE-mail story

Regulation must precede wind-power building

I live in a solar-powered home on the quiet, rural mesa that Invenergy wants to turn into an industrial wind facility, and I don’t know if I should laugh or cry at this corporation’s claim that it is a “good neighbor” because it would give a whopping $500 per year to families living within one-third mile of their turbines. While Invenergy makes off with hundreds of millions of dollars in taxpayer subsidies, those of us who actually live with the . . . Complete story »

December 20, 2008 • U.K.Print storyE-mail story

Promoters overstated the environmental benefit of wind farms

The British Wind Energy Association (BWEA) has agreed to scale down its calculation for the amount of harmful carbon dioxide emission that can be eliminated by using wind turbines to generate electricity instead of burning fossil fuels such as coal or gas. The move is a serious setback for the advocates of wind power, as it will be regarded as a concession that twice as many wind turbines as previously calculated will be needed to provide the same degree of . . . Complete story »

December 6, 2008 • New MexicoPrint storyE-mail story

Solar home owners oppose wind farm

TAOS – Living off the grid doesn’t necessarily mean you want to live next to a wind farm, even if it is designed to generate electrical power from a renewable energy source. A well-known Taos attorney’s proposal to develop a wind farm has angered some residents near the site, including people in the Cielito Lindo subdivision, where homes rely primarily on solar energy. Eliu Romero is scheduled to ask Taos County commissioners Tuesday to approve land-use code variances to allow a . . . Complete story »

December 4, 2008 • NebraskaPrint storyE-mail story

Wind project suspended after turbine fire

BLOOMFIELD, Neb. – Company officials have suspended work at the Elkhorn Ridge wind farm after Tuesday’s turbine fire 260 feet in the air, which hospitalized a worker who suffered burns while atop the turbine. The incident occurred at one of the 27 turbines on the 80-megawatt wind farm under construction north of Bloomfield, Neb. The project is owned by the Edison Mission Group of Irvine, Calif. Once completed, Elkhorn Ridge will become Nebraska’s largest wind farm. Edison Mission has launched an . . . Complete story »

December 2, 2008 • MainePrint storyE-mail story

Group to appeal Lincoln wind farm approval

LINCOLN, Maine – A residents group promised Tuesday to appeal a planning board decision approving a proposed $130 million wind farm that would create as many as 10 new jobs as much as 60 megawatts of electricity in peak winds. With member Heidi Stevens the sole dissenter, the board voted 6-1 during a meeting Monday to issue permits to First Wind of Massachusetts, which wants to build 40 massive 380-foot turbines, each generating 1½ megawatts on ridgelines in Burlington, Lincoln, Lee . . . Complete story »

December 1, 2008 • Rhode IslandPrint storyE-mail story

Professor says wind turbines a threat to bats, birds

Wind energy is “brown,” not green, Boston University professor Thomas Kunz told members the Rhode Island Natural History Survey at a November 19 presentation at the University of Rhode Island. Kunz, an internationally known bat researcher and director of BU’s Center for Ecology and Conservation Biology, said wind turbines annually kill many raptors as well as tens of thousands of bats in the United States. Since these turbines have been promoted as an answer to America’s energy woes, Kunz called . . . Complete story »

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